I’m always on the lookout for good resources to inform and improve the work I do, especially when it comes to prospect research, analytics, predictive modeling, and fundraising. Generally, it’s hard to say there’s a lot out there that deals with all of these topics. You can find things on prospect research; boatloads of people seem to write about fundraising; analytics and predictive modeling are mushrooming in a number of sectors — and so is the writing about them. But there don’t seem to be a whole lot of people writing about analytics in fundraising, so I was really pleasantly surprised to stumble onto Kevin MacDonell’s blog, “CoolData.”
Kevin clearly knows his stuff when it comes to analytics and statistical techniques. He covers a wealth of topics, and while he claims to be a “non-expert,” his thorough understanding of the nearly-always-complex subject matter is exemplified by how well he explains things in his posts. (Kevin was a journalism major. I’m guessing that, based on the quality of my own writing here, you can tell that I was not.)
As any CRISP-DM process model enthusiast will attest, a quality predictive modeling project requires good business understanding and good data understanding. By extension, I would opine that any quality fundraising analytics professional will also possess solid understanding of both the business (fundraising) and the data and the techniques required to deal with that data. By FURTHER extension, the best fundraising analytics resources also get to the heart of good business understanding and good data understanding. CoolData definitely hits the mark where this is concerned.